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Step Back Chapter9

"When you take a step back, you
have a more comprehensive view
that allows you to see—then, in
time, address—everyone’s needs.”

Step Back Chapter5

"If you don’t
take steps on
your own behalf,
all your other
steps will be

Step Back Chapter6 1920×900 3

"Expectation is the killer,
the belief that we can
somehow change their minds
about us.The child has to
change his own mind,
in his own time.”

The Book


“The Step Back philosophy is a simple concept for a strategy that requires regular practice to master – and the rewards are well worth the effort. Stepping back prevents you from contributing to disorder. It allows you to be an observer, opening your field of vision to every aspect of the matter at hand, broadening your perspective and clarifying your judgement…”


Step Back: A Stepmother’s Handbook

In every aspect of life, our most important work is on ourselves—but when a woman marries a man who has children from a previous marriage, there is much more to care for than the marriage. Even if she only sees the children every other week, they play a recurring role in her life.

How does a woman prepare for this continuing challenge? Is there a mysterious formula, a special technique, an established method by which she can gracefully move into both roles—wife and stepmother—fully prepared for every pitfall?

After two marriages, seven stepchildren, and with 50 years’ worth of experience, Margit Bernard offers her decidedly realistic perspective to those stepmothers who find themselves struggling . . . and to help prepare those women who are embarking on a new life as a stepmother.

Ms. Bernard asks her fellow stepmothers to see themselves differently: not trapped in an impossible predicament, but as a valuable and adaptable part of the expansive panorama of life—a view we can all appreciate, and that can only be achieved, when we step back. Her “Step Back philosophy” is appropriate not only for stepmothers . . . it is, in fact, a philosophy suitable to anyone who experiences the inevitable challenges of life.

“I want to say this to every stepmother: take it a little easier, try not to be so insistent, try not to have your desires dominate—and not just with the stepchildren, but with your husband, your family, your friends. The moment you step back from whatever it is that exasperates you, you get an unrestricted view of the situation—and you can take a breath before you move forward.”

Purchase Book
About The Author

Margit Bernard

Margit Bernard was born in Czechoslovakia; her comfortable childhood was interrupted when she became a refugee during the Russian occupation of her country in World War II. She has been a fashion model in London, a business owner in Los Angeles, and a corporate administrator in Paris. Ms. Bernard has a degree in Psychology from USC and serves on the Board of Directors of the Cotsen Foundation for the Art of Teaching. Ms. Bernard lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two Labrador Retrievers. She is the stepmother of seven, and stepgrandmother of 17.

Readers' Thoughts

Readers' Thoughts

Step Back Book Cover
  • “Simply extraordinary – I found it thoughtful, incisive, and extremely well-written. I couldn’t put it down, and read the entire book in one sitting. It is not only a guide to being a stepmother, but it is invaluable for all human relationships – a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend.”

    - Sherry Lansing, former CEO of Paramount Pictures, CEO of The Sherry Lansing Foundation
  • I am convinced that this is an important book that serves an unmet need. Indeed, Ms. Bernard is writing about a subject that clearly needs to be discussed openly, but rarely is.

    - T. A. Barron, author, The Lost Years of Merlin and The Great Tree of Avalon

    - Place Holder (need this as every 3rd review)
  • “In STEP BACK, Margit Eva Bernard has masterfully captured the essence of what it is to be a stepmother. With poetry and insights, her prescription to 'step back' leads us from hurt to healing, and finally, to acceptance. A must-read for every stepparent.”

    - Vicki Reynolds, former mayor of Beverly Hills, civic leader, philanthropist
  • ...a lovely blend of personal experience, action and reflection by Ms. Bernard through years of being a stepmother...filled with useful observations, human experiences and wise comments.

    - Mary Rourke, reporter, journalist and author, Two Women of Galilee
  • - Place Holder (need this as every 3rd review)
  • This book isn't just for stepmothers; it should be read by anyone who wants to improve every one of their relationships. Actually, it should be read by everyone...

    - Evelyn L. Barnes, poet
  • "I found Margit's personal story very compelling -- she sounds like a remarkable woman who has led an incredible life. Her book is a well-balanced amalgamation of personal stories, advice and meditative contemplation."

    - Hannah Wildwood, new media producer
  • - Place Holder (need this as every 3rd review)

              Step Back: A Stepmother’s Handbook is released today

              Author Margit Eva Bernard is pleased to announce the release of her first book, Step Back: A Stepmother’s Handbook. Ms. Bernard’s book is a guide for stepmothers and stepmothers-to-be, containing fresh insights through Margit Bernard’s candid portrayal of her relationships with her

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